The USF Bulls squeaked out a win over the FAU Owls, 60-59 on Friday night. The Owls had the ball at their end of the court with a chance to score with more than 11 seconds on the clock, but a missed three-point attempt sealed the victory for the Bulls.
FAU scored the first basket of the game, a jump shot from junior center, Ronald Delph, who happens to be from nearby Winter Haven. After that, the Bulls went on a 13-0 run, to lead 13-2 with 12:53 remaining in the first half of play. The Owls would pull back within three before USF would again pull away to lead by more than ten with just under four minutes to go in the first period. By the half time break, USF led by four, 33-29.
Sophomore forward, Tulio Da Silva, one of just a few Bulls returning from last season, led all scorers with eight first half points. Da Silva also grabbed four rebounds.
Delph opened up scoring in the second half, as well, with another jump shot to cut the USF lead to 33-31. Delph manages to tie the game at 35 with 17:21 remaining with a layup. A missed shot by USF’s Nikola Scekic was converted into three points by Gararius Troutman, giving the Owls the first lead since the opening minutes of the game.
USF regained the lead and pulled away somewhat, leading by as much as seven, before FAU would get even, tying the score at 51 with just under five minutes remaining in the game. Another Delph layup gave the Owls a 59-56 edge with 0:54 left in the game. A couple of made free throws by Stephan Jiggetts got USF to within one, 59-58.
USF sophomore forward, Tulio Da Silva, got a steal with 27 seconds left in the game. He manages to get the ball to Jiggetts, who sinks a jumper with 0:12 on the clock to go up 60-59. FAU called timeout and drew up a plan, but the USF defense held, though, denying Troutman a chance to steal the win.
Da Silva missed the double-double, but had a career high 20 points and 8 rebounds for the Bulls. Jiggetts was the next high scorer, with 13 points.
Delph and Payton Hulsey led the scoring for FAU, with 15 and 12 points respectively. Delph also led his team with nine rebounds.
The Owls outrebounded USF, 41-34, 15-5 offensively. They also dominated off the bench, outscoring USF’s bench, 31-12.
FAU will return to Boca Raton to try and improve on their 0-1 record in a game against Edward Waters on 11/16. The Bulls will return to action at Morgan State, on Monday, 11/13.